Friday, September 23, 2011

What He Truly Believes

I have a student in one of my classes who is kind of hard to like.

Now, I can count on one hand the number of students over the years that I honestly could not stand. He is not one of them.

He is loud. He can't read. He is argumentative. He resists doing work (probably because he can't read). His normal speaking voice always sounds like an argument. But all those things don't mean that I dislike him.

I put up with a lot in my classroom. If I didn't, I would have most of my class in the office everyday. I work really hard to remember that these are kids. They are learning who they want to be and some of them are overcoming amazing obstacles simply by getting to school every day. Part of my job is to teach them science. The other part of my job, like it or not, is to model good behavior and to show those kids what is and is not appropriate in a school setting. I can't do either of those things if they aren't in my room.

Today, my "low" kids had a wonderful discussion about energy and states of matter. The kids (all of them!) were interested and participated  in the discussion (where are all the administrators today?) and ended up with all the conclusions I had hoped they would.

As the bell is ringing and the kids are headed out, he turns to me, dead serious, very matter-of-fact and says, "Mrs. Schroeder, I'm really glad that you don't think I'm stupid."

I cried.

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